Every idiot who goes about with ‘Merry Christmas’ on his lips,” Scrooge said, “should be boiled with his own pudding, and buried with a stake of holly through his heart.” Charles Dickens is best known, particularly at this time of year, for his character Ebenezer Scrooge. In his classic A Christmas Carol, Dickens reminds readers of the need for generosity and gratitude at Christmas. But did Charles Dickens get the gospel?
Most people associate Christmas with good feelings: bright lights, hot chocolate, sweet cookies, nostalgic movies, holiday music, friends and family, a decorated pine, and stockings hung by the chimney with care. But what do you do when the Christmas spirit skips your house? What can you do when Christmas doesn’t seem to work? How can you rediscover joy this Christmas?
This week I had the privilege of speaking to Southern Baptist state evangelism directors at the headquarters for the North American Mission Board in Atlanta, GA. My topic was “witnessing and worldviews.” I shared biblical imperatives that I see as essential for our conversations about faith in an increasingly secular age.